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SoulCollage® Community Update
August 2014 
The Shadow Princess: A SoulCollage® Synchronicity  

by Elise Crohn, SoulCollage® Facilitator

I recently headed out on a nine-day shake-down cruise on a 27-foot sailboat with my boyfriend, his rescue dog Cricket, and a bag of arty accoutrements that included my SoulCollage® deck.

I had a fantasy of creating a wee art studio in the cabin of the boat while we motor-sailed down the Intracoastal Waterway with cool breezes and happy dolphins, while I rested and rejuvenated from a very busy schedule.

After three days (and nights) of blazing hot, sticky South Carolina weather, a boat breakdown, a tow, a repair, mosquito swarms punctuated by plagues of biting horseflies that made me wish for the mosquitos back-and perhaps worst of all, a marine toilet that smelled like those port-a-potties at the end of a three-day music festival...

After THOSE three days I pulled a SoulCollage® card with the prompt (thank you Suzie Wolfer), "What are my core values?":

I stared at it blankly....
Of course it seemed so obvious.  The card is about love and partnership-but honestly, as important as romantic love is, it is NOT one of my CORE values or priorities.  I'm not a woman who studies romantic relationship, reading books and discussing with girlfriends all the ways you navigate, keep, expand and rejuvenate "the relationship".  I've had other things on my mind...And still, it is I who made that card!!

As I stared into the visual layers of the card, time ticked by...
my brain scurrying down so many rabbit holes of meaning....

After a while, I suddenly saw:
The couple is covered in mud!  They are embracing their own-and each other's-SHADOW!

And THAT is one of my core values! Ding-ding-ding.  As I sat in the lower deck of the boat, sweating and swatting horseflies, all of a sudden I SAW my own shadow.  And SHE was ME.

Whining about the heat, oh, and then the cold, the storm and the rain, oh, and then the dead calm and the mosquitoes that come with no wind...Actually, it seemed, I could whine about ANYTHING because I was so far out of my comfort zone.  Just exactly like people I judge, yes, especially women, who seem to think they are born princesses and that everything should always be COMFORTABLE.

I've always been against that sort of thing.

Heck, I spent a year of my life purposely living outside and training myself to sleep on the ground without a tent-the sand dunes, no problem-the rugged back country, no problem-I made myself one with nature, by BEING with nature.  The truth is I took pride in my earthy "do anything, go anywhere" persona and felt just a bit superior for it.

And now, rounding the bend to fifty...having spent a lot of the last 15 years, not in luxury, but comfortable, I find I don't want to be eaten by bugs. I don't want to sweat in my sleep. I don't want to wake up aching from ANYTHING that I can avoid.

The Shadow Princess has been revealed to me: I AM the princess I judge in others.  AND what is more profound, my boyfriend is seeing it.  Minute by minute I am revealing to him the horrible dark side of my being.  I'm a bitch, and worse, a PRINCESS BITCH.  And you know what-he's a good sport!

With our only 12-volt extension cord, he points the little tiny baby-sized fan directly on me...and then in the morning he says, "Why don't you take the local tour boat out to the barrier island while I try to fix the boat motor?"

He's the best kind of Libra partner this Virgo could ever ask for-but I haven't stopped whining yet!

Boat repairs complete, motoring down the Intracoastal Waterway again, now in some of the most uninhabited areas I have seen in 20 years, we fall into a mesmerized state of being. A discussion unfolds and meanders in the way that only the wide open wilderness can facilitate.

I show him the SoulCollage® card and tell him about the "reading" of my core values and the shadow and my insights.  I say, "I'm afraid we're drifting apart with this boat and our experiences together. I want to support you in your dream, but this is really hard for me, starting out so exhausted and the monster schedule I have when I get back home. I'm afraid I'm disappointing you-I'm not the adventurer I thought I was, or once was!"  He says, "I love you, I really don't have expectations for you, we're both learning, together, right here, right now, about all aspects of 'us.' "

Eight hours of the Intracoastal later- intra meaning within, coastal meaning the edges/boundaries between things-it has been breathtakingly beautiful and breathtakingly difficult.  Dolphins and biting flies....a scenery of  water, wet lands and sky with a rare building and a rare boat passing, with RAIN and HEAT...and SUN and HUMIDITY.  We arrive, rain-soaked, sunburned and hungry, at Isle of Palms where we will dock for the night.  I have called ahead and made arrangements, but the dockhand is a kid and the directions are confusing and, actually, this is all new to both of us.  PLUS our boat engine is very fragile at this point.  If we slow to an idle too quickly it will die and is very hard (sometimes impossible) to start.  We're pulling up and the dockhand starts asking questions as our boat drifts out away from the dock and starts sputtering.  Peter yells out in the worst ugly American voice, cutting him off, "Just tie me up, just tie me up at the dock!"

I'm mortified. The dockhand is shamed. We all look down at the ground.

I take Cricket for a pee-walk.  Peter settles up with the Marina.

We meet at the restaurant, a combination of sunbaked, exhausted, elated for having made it this far, and humbled by our shadows.  We order food and drinks and I say, "I was embarrassed when you yelled at that kid-he was just trying to figure out what we needed and dock us at the right place."

Peter looks right at me and says, "I was embarrassed too. My shadow popped out!  That is what my dad did-belittled people out of his own fear and anxiety. I was anxious about the engine conking out before we docked. I don't hate my father anymore, but I DO hate my own shadow!"  

The SoulCollage® card pops into my mind's eye, the couple covered in mud embracing, and now I really get it as I reach out and squeeze Peter's hand, feeling only love and compassion for his shadow (and mine) and our ability to talk about it, to be aware, even if only in retrospect.

It was one of those holy moments where a SoulCollage® card comes to life in the middle of your life-translation: an aspect of your SOUL comes to life, LIVE, and is understood and accepted.  I felt the two of us embracing our own shadows and each other and the whirling dervishes spinning around us-we truly were the Shadow and the Light of that place, and the dolphins and the biting flies were made one in that moment too!  The result: very simply, MORE LOVE.

One of my MOST core beliefs is that how we heal the world is by healing our own shadow-by seeing, accepting and transforming it.  Our shadow, and the shadow of another, once seen, cannot be unseen.  We then have a chance to do something constructive-such as embrace, love, accept and integrate that part we have banished in ourselves but judge when we see it in others.

From an ego standpoint, the vacation was a disappointment.  I didn't meet my expectation in any way, shape or form and I did not get the rest I so badly wanted. And yet, from the Soul's perspective it was absolutely perfect:  I got the lesson I was ready for, I paid attention, and I now know I need to make a SoulCollag® card for the "Princess Bitch" who is alive in me, whom I can also now tolerate, even love, much more in myself AND others.  And guess what: when something is loved, it is transformed!

Elise Crohn is a SoulCollage® Facilitator and founder of Juicy Creatives Studio in Lake Worth, FL, where "Art is Nectar for the Soul" and adults are invited into a process of play, self-expression, and spontaneous creativity.  An eclectic "Art Medicine Woman," Elise has been trained and mentored in myth and metaphor via depth psychology, English literature, poetry, Jungian sand play therapy, expressive arts, Source Painting™, and deep ecology.

Listen to Seena talk about the Shadow  

Working with the Shadow
Working with the Shadow
SoulCollage® Founder, Seena B. Frost talks about how when a form's energy becomes exaggerated or too much, we say in SoulCollage® that it is manifesting Shadow. On the other hand, when a form's energy is absent when needed, this is also Shadow. We are trying to come to balance with any particular quality or part of us, finding that place where there is not too much or too little of a quality. Much more on shadow work in this talk.
Listen to Seena talk about Shadow.

Learn More About Your SoulCollage® Cards 
A Live Webcam Online Course
Your SoulCollage® Cards: Keys to Transformation
Audrey Chowdhury,  M.S., ATR-BC, SoulCollage® Trainer
October 16 & 23, 2014 - 4:00-6:00 pm Pacific Time
4 CEUs available (learn more...)

Our outer world often reflects our inner world. When our SoulCollage® cards help us understand our interior lives, they can begin to help us transform our daily lives. In this course, you will:
  • Experience how working with your cards can bring clarity, focus, and healing to your life.
  • See others' cards, share your own if you want to.
  • Explore the power of the SoulCollage® process, in particular the Suits, to bring structure to your inner and outer realms.
  • Delve into the dynamics of the relationships between the Neters in your own deck.
  • Learn how the Neters' interactions can influence your inner and outer experience. 
Audrey and her training group March 2013

We will talk about how to work with resistance and conflicting energies that show up among our cards, and how to bridge the divide between Neters of different Suits. We will explore relationships among Neters, and how those can play out in your daily life. In other words, we will discover how our cards are, indeed, "Keys to Transformation."

For More Information: Learn more about this class

Meet the World Shadow with Wisdom

Download this recorded audio course with Mariabruna Sirabella
Learn how to strengthen your boundaries, perfect your filters and regain balance more quickly when you brush against somebody's negativity, feel under attack or feel impotent in the face of violence and disaster in the news or at home. Invite your Neters, your allies and guides present in your SoulCollage® cards, to reveal more efficient ways to manage your permeability to the forces of the World Shadow, in its small and larger expressions rooted in fear, greed, and ignorance.
Join the SoulCollage® Facilitator Community around the world... a place is waiting for you.

Photo by Diane Karen Born

September 11-14, 2014 - Mariabruna Sirabella (with Seena Frost on Sunday)
California (Santa Cruz) - FULL - Contact us for waiting list
September 11-14, 2014 - Anne Marie Bennett  
Massachusetts (Westfield) - Genesis Spiritual Life Center
September 19-21, 2014 - Diane Karen Born
Washington (Vancouver) - Inn at the Quay
September 20-22, 2014 - Lucy Schaaphok
The Netherlands (Groesbeek)
October 3-5, 2014 - Audrey Chowdhury, ATR-BC  
Missouri (near Kansas City) - Unity Village
October 3-5, 2014 - Karen Mann
Australia (Melbourne)
October 10-12, 2014 - Linda Woolfson
Portugal (Cascais)
October 17-19, 2014 - Kat Kirby, ATR-BC  
Arizona (Prescott) - 2KatStudios
October 24-26, 2014 - Catherine Anderson
North Carolina (Charlotte) - Catherine Anderson Studio
November 6-9, 2014 - Mariabruna Sirabella, LMFT
Brazil (Racife) - The Ecopousada Meteora D'Aldeai  - In English and Portuguese
Contact & Registration
November 7-9, 2014 - Audrey Chowdhury, ATR-BC
Wisconsin (Madison) - Holy Wisdom Center
November 2014 (Dates TBA) - Mariabruna Sirabella, LMFT
Argentina (Buenos Aires) - In Spanish

*The only requirements for the SoulCollage® Facilitator Training are your own active practice of SoulCollage® and your enthusiasm for sharing it with others, as well as reading Seena's book and listening to her CDs: Introduction to SoulCollage® and Facilitating SoulCollage® in Groups.